As a practical matter, we can trust what we can verify. Unfortunately, none of us can verify much. Fortunately, what we can verify is mostly what we ought to be involved with before long anyway:
- We can verify what we grow ourselves.
- We can mostly verify what our neighbors grow
- We can with some effort reasonably verify commercial produce and meats grown locally by people with ongoing businesses
- We can to a extent verify some products by reputable companies some of the time, and we have reason to be happy for that during what may be a rough transition
Before the advent of the internal combustion engine, very nearly all food but for dry goods and some canned goods was grown locally, even food for what were at the time large cities. Across the world, most still is. And where it is not, that state has not existed long: I myself remember eating almost exclusively local produce for about six months of each year inside of Los Angeles County after 1960.
It is going to require alterations to infrastructure and education, but the practical and physical and technological elements are not particularly complicated nor even terribly expensive. The organoponicos of Cuba during the “special period” are a successful if in some ways rough example–perhaps far less rough than we are apt to undergo in the States.
A set of principles by which individual situations can be analyzed and optimized is broadly taught as permaculture, and integrates a wide array of techniques and methodologies, both traditional and new. It offers an alternative to reliance on global economy, and does not require allegiance to any particular power bloc, nor “dropping out” and avoiding political involvement.
It is by no means a magic wand, so in general, people have found it far, far easier and more successful to start slowly, while they still have much support from the existing economy to make the transition, with which most remain involved to some extent indefinitely. One can read and study, experiment, and support a growing forest of trees that usually involve an initial expense and will not peak in production for a few years.
But all that means that it is best to start early. Maybe it is still early; I don’t know.